Alcohol Consumption Falters as Cannabis Products Generate Appeal

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Over the past several years, alcohol consumption rates have declined rapidly, leaving consumers to find new alternatives. Notably, the cannabis industry is directly correlated with declining alcohol consumption rates; Investment-bank firm Cowen & Co. reported that as of 2016, legal adult-use cannabis U.S. states witnessed binge drinking rates fall by 9% below the national average, and 11% below non-cannabis states. However, newly added states such as California and Nevada had higher rates of alcohol consumption and lower rates of cannabis use. Regardless, Cowen expects the rates to shift in both alcohol and cannabis consumption in those specific states. And as a result, Cowen said it is reasonable to assume that as more states continue to legalize adult-use cannabis, alcohol binge drinking rates will continue to falter. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 17% of the U.S. population engaged in binge drinking, meaning that 1 in 6 reported doing so 4 or more times a month. In states that legalized adult use, the number of binge drinking sessions per month was 9% below the national average.